Social media is a brilliant tool for marketing, comms and customer service teams. The insights available through the platforms means you can record every action, but what performance metrics should you be tracking to meet your goals?
Let’s start by saying that you do not need to be tracking every single thing on social media! The metrics you follow should be relevant to the goals and strategies you have set for social media; ultimately contributing to the organisation’s objectives.
If you’ve yet to establish your social media strategy, we’ve got you covered. Our free training academy contains an in-depth, step-by-step guide to creating a social media strategy. Laying out your strategy and defining your goals means you can choose the right metrics to show the value of your work, the impact of your decisions and how you are driving the organisation forward using social media.
Choosing Your Social Media Performance Metrics
Once you fully understand your goals for social media, selecting the right performance metrics becomes easy. Social media goals can be split up into a few broad topics:
- Get more engagement
- Increase brand awareness
- Drive more conversions
- Deliver better customer service
- Grow and maintain audience relationships
Each goal will have different metrics that are more valuable than others. We’ve broken down the best metrics to track for each objective below.
Social media is called ‘social’ for a reason; meaningful, authentic engagement is the name of the game. Striving for better engagement on your accounts can improve your other social media KPIs, showing just how important it is to build those buzzing, engaged communities.
This metric is the number of approval actions, relative to your total number of followers on that network. Approval actions include likes, reactions and favourites and not comments or shares. Applause rate is a great metric to keep track of as it shows you what content your audience finds valuable enough to engage with, helping to shape your social media content strategy moving forward.
To find your applause rate, add up the number of approval actions that occurred within a chosen reporting time, divide that by your number of followers and multiply by 100 to get a percentage.
For example: If you received 300 applause actions within 30 days, and had a total of 2,000 followers, your applause rate would be 15%.
Average Engagement Rate
Your average engagement rate takes into account the number of engagement actions on your content compared to the total number of followers for that social media account. From this metric, you can determine how valuable the post is to your audience; the higher the engagement, the more people in your audience found it useful.
It’s not enough to put together valuable content; you need to make sure that the right people are seeing it and listening to your message. By looking at the engagement rate instead of raw figures on how many engagements your posts attracted, you can take a more objective look at your performance, without having to compare yourself to other accounts that may have a more significant following.
To find your average engagement rate, you need to add up a post’s total engagements, including likes, comments and shares. Divide this by the total number of followers on the account and multiply by 100.
For example: If a post had 100 engagements, and the account had 500 followers, your average engagement rate would be 20%.
Using a social media management platform, you can dive further into what makes your social accounts tick, with extra engagement metrics. Check out who your biggest fans are and who regularly engages with your organisation to find your biggest advocates.
Everyone dreams of ‘going viral’, but what does that actually mean? Your virality rate will tell you how many people shared your post compared to how many impressions it received in a specific reporting period. This metric helps you to go beyond the surface of content that may seem ‘popular’, to see if it is genuinely viral.
To calculate the virality rate, gather data on how many shares and impressions a post receives within a specific period. Divide the number of shares by the number of impressions, and multiply by 100.
For example: If a post received 12,000 impressions and was shared 600 times, the virality rate of that post would be 5%.
Brand Awareness Metrics
If you want to use your organisation’s social media channels to become more recognisable and increase your reach, setting goals around brand awareness is an excellent way to work towards this.
It’s important to note, for some social media platforms (namely Facebook and Twitter), good engagement is a sign of quality and popularity, so the algorithms will award highly-engaged posts with broader post reach. In this case, you may incorporate engagement and brand awareness goals to help you meet overall objectives.
Audience Growth Rate
Instead of just tracking how many new followers you gain each month, measuring your audience growth rate gives you a better idea of the momentum your organisation has on social media. This can also be used to track others in your sector, so you can see how you compare to similar organisations.
Calculate your audience growth rate by dividing your net followers (followers gained minus followers lost) by your total audience, then multiply by 100.
For example: If your Twitter account gained 300 net new followers last month, and your total follower number was 3000, your audience growth rate would be 10%.
Your post reach will tell you how many people have seen your content since it was published, showing you how far your message is travelling over social media. This metric can contain some useful information, as it will be influenced by the time you posted and what value is included in the content.
All social media platforms have made it easy to find the reach of each post. Just in case you’ve missed it, here is where you can find your reach metric on each platform:
Facebook shows you how many people have been reached and have engaged in each post on your page.
Twitter’s post metrics can be found by hitting the ‘View Tweet Activity’ button, showing you reach and total impressions.
Similar to Facebook, LinkedIn shows the number of impressions at the bottom of each post on your company page. LinkedIn also shows you whether those impressions are organic or sponsored.
Using a social media management platform to oversee your reach metrics can help you explore underneath the surface of your most successful posts, to improve your overall social media strategy.
Engagement metrics are relatively simple to track on social media, but it is still a good idea to track the ROI of your efforts. How many of your engaged followers are actually interested in becoming a customer of your organisation?
If you want to use your social media channels to drive more conversions, you need the right metrics to track your progress. Conversions can include anything from buying something from your website, booking a meeting or downloading some free content; all of which social media can help you with. Measuring conversion metrics can help you assess the effectiveness of social as an overall channel, as well as helping you deep dive into which specific channel (Facebook, Twitter etc.) is bringing you the most return.
Your conversion rate measures how many people who, after clicking on a link in your post, took the desired action on your landing page. A high conversion rate will show you that your post was valuable to your audience, and the landing page delivered what you promised.
Working out your conversion rate takes a little forward planning. Before you post your content, you should use a trackable link in your post, so you can see what happens to that traffic when it arrives on your site. Use reporting tools like Google Analytics to find the total number of clicks and conversions that post delivered. Analytics can also show you conversion rate, but if you want to work it out yourself, just divide your conversions by total clicks and multiply by 100.
For example: If a recent post got 80 clicks which delivered 12 conversions, your conversion rate would be 15%.
Your click-through rate measures how many people click on the link in your social media post compared to how many people see it. This is great for testing the effectiveness of your content, as it will show you how compelling the offer is to your audience.
To calculate your click-through rate, divide the number of link clicks by the number of impressions for a single post. Multiply by 100 to find the percentage.
For example: If your post received 350 clicks and was viewed 900 times, your click-through rate would be 39%.
Your bounce rate measures how many people click on the link in your post, but then leave without taking any action on your site. This indicates how well your landing page delivers on your post’s offer, and can also show you how your social media audience compares to other traffic sources.
To find your bounce rate, you should tracking tags installed that allow you to use a tool like Google Analytics. From your dashboard, go to the Acquisition Report > All Traffic > Channels. To see your traffic sources ordered by bounce rate, click on the ‘Bounce Rate’ column.
Customer Service Metrics
Social media is the perfect channel to delight your customers with timely, helpful advice. If your social media goals revolve around improving customer service, these metrics may be just what you need to track your progress.
Time to First Response
According to Go-Globe, 60% of customers who complain through social media expect a response within an hour. Keeping track of your time to first response isn’t about how quickly you resolve issues; it’s about making sure your customers get an initial response as fast as possible, so they’re not left feeling ignored or undervalued.
Almost all interactions on social media are time-stamped, so you can manually record how long your customers have been waiting. Alternatively, make use of a social media management platform to quickly identify performance and efficiency.
Time to Resolution
While a speedy initial response is vital to keeping your whole interaction positive, the only way your customers are going to be fully satisfied is when you actually resolve their issue. Measuring this metric can help show you where there may be knowledge gaps in your team, or particularly difficult issues that are delaying the process.
Similarly to measuring time to first response, you can choose to manually record the time stamps for your conversations or use a social media management platform that is tailored around social customer service.
Agent & Team Performance
While your overall response rate may be reasonable, you could be missing opportunities to improve. By drilling down into individual agent performance, you can identify the colleagues that respond quickly and efficiently, as well as the colleagues that may need extra training and support. Getting into these metrics can show you where there are blockages in the process, queries that are particularly difficult to answer, and how many people are involved in solving a query.
While it is possible to manually track these metrics, you can save yourself time and get comprehensive reports from a social media management platform.
Topic Area Questions
By understanding the type of questions you are most commonly being asked, you can decide whether to create a focused campaign that targets those knowledge gaps. This will free up time for your customer service team to tackle more unique cases, and provide even more efficient customer service on social media.
To make this process easier, group your most commonly-asked questions into related categories, so you can see which topics should be prioritised and where your audience has substantial knowledge gaps.
Customer Relationship Metrics
Building and maintaining relationships is pretty much what social media was made for and can help you understand how your current, potential and past customers feel about your organisation. Tracking these goals may require a combined qualitative and quantitative approach to build a complete picture of the relationships your organisation has on social media.
Reviews, assessments, comments, endorsements and interviews are all forms of customer testimonials and can influence the way other people view your organisation. The more sincere, positive testimonials you can collect on your social media profiles, the more your audience will see your organisation as trustworthy and credible.
Tracking this metric will involve more qualitative work, but will quickly show how your customers see your organisation. Keep an updated record of all new testimonials that are posted on your social media profiles.
Knowing your Net Promoter Score (or NPS) will help you determine current customer satisfaction as well as predicting future engagement. This is done by asking your customers one question: “How likely is it that you would recommend our [organisation/product/service] to a friend?”. Depending on how your customers answer, they will either be a promoter, detractor or passive.
To work out your Net Promoter Score, you need to create an NPS survey to post out on your social media profiles SurveyMonkey makes creating your survey easy. Once you have gathered the data from your customers, subtract the number of promoters from the number of detractors. Divide this number by the total respondents and multiply by 100.
Example: If your NPS survey results in 25 promoters, 4 detractors, and 5 passives, your NPS score would be 62.
Having a high-level overview of your customer sentiment on social media is super helpful in tracking progress towards your relationship goals. By having a clear idea of how your customers feel towards you, you can identify if there is a need to change your strategy or provide more training to colleagues on social media.
Tracking customer sentiment starts with getting into the habit of marking every interaction as either positive, negative or neutral to build up that overall picture. This gives you a snapshot of how your customers feel towards you in that particular moment, and you can monitor changes over time.
Social media management platforms like CrowdControlHQ give you the ability to easily mark an interaction’s sentiment in one click, and is immediately available to see by other users in your team, providing a consistent customer experience on your channels.
The amount of social media performance metrics available to you can be overwhelming when you first look at it, but once you hone in on metrics that support your goals, it becomes straightforward to narrow down. Out of all the metrics we’ve outlined above, you’ll probably only want to prioritise a few of them; and that’s the best way to do it! You don’t want to be slaving away, recording numbers that aren’t showing you how to achieve your goals on social.
If you still need to pin down your goals and set your strategy straight on social media, head over to our free academy lesson that tells you everything you need to include for a foolproof social media strategy.